A World Of Opulence Awaits At Galaxy Macau

Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) completed the third expansion phase of Galaxy Macau last December, officially unveiling the Galaxy International Convention Center, Galaxy Arena, Andaz Macau and Raffles at Galaxy Macau. This marks a significant milestone, solidifying Galaxy Macau’s position as the premier integrated resort destination for both leisure and business travelers.

Galaxy Macau offers a one-stop resort experience.

Embodying the service philosophy of “World-class, Asian heart,” Galaxy Macau seamlessly blends culture, entertainment, culinary delights and leisure experiences all under one roof. It boasts a state-of-the-art convention venue, a 16,000-seat multi-purpose indoor arena, eight luxury hotels, over 120 dining establishments and more than 200 international luxury brands. The Skytop Oasis—Grand Resort Deck, exclusively for all hotel guests, is a sprawling 75,000-square-meter recreational space offering white sand beaches, water attractions such as the Skytop Adventure River Ride, Skytop Wave Pool and a kid’s aquatic play zone, dining venues, the picturesque Skytop Garden and more.

Grand Resort Deck (left) is exclusively for all hotel guests at Galaxy Macau, while Galaxy Promenade (right) offers a world-class shopping experience with over 200 luxury brands.

Galaxy International Convention Center

The Galaxy International Convention Center sets a new standard for Macau’s MICE sector.

The Galaxy International Convention Center (GICC), spanning 40,000 square meters, sets a new standard for Macau’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector. It features cutting-edge conference facilities and offers tailored planning services. With flexible MICE space, the venue can host grand banquets for up to 8,500 guests or cocktail parties for up to 16,000 guests. The 10,000-square-meter, pillarless exhibition hall accommodates up to 7,000 delegates.

The Galaxy Auditorium, equipped with advanced audio-visual systems and top-notch acoustics, is ideal for keynote sessions, opening ceremonies, cultural and musical performances and product launches.

Seamlessly connected to Galaxy Macau, the GICC positions itself as the preferred destination for global business meetings and exhibitions, with all the necessary MICE services and facilities conveniently housed under one roof.

Galaxy Arena

Galaxy Arena, located within the GICC, is the largest indoor arena in Macau, boasting a seating capacity of 16,000. This versatile venue can accommodate various events, from large-scale conferences and exhibitions to entertainment, music and sports, aligning with the government’s vision of promoting Macau as a “City of Performing Arts” and “City of Sports.”

BLACKPINK held two consecutive shows at the Galaxy Arena in 2023.

Since its opening in April 2023, the venue has welcomed over 100 performers, including K-pop group BLACKPINK, global megastar Jackson Wang and Cantopop diva Kelly Chen. Notably, it hosted the annual star-studded award show iQIYI Scream Night and GEG’s 2023 Yao Foundation Charity Game, which saw former NBA player Yao Ming gracing the event.

Andaz Macau

Andaz Macau is the largest hotel within the Andaz brand worldwide, serving as the brand’s exclusive property in Macau. With direct connection to the GICC and Galaxy Arena, Andaz Macau offers convenience for both business and leisure travelers.

Boasting over 700 meticulously designed rooms and suites, the hotel embodies a seamless blend of Macanese and Portuguese cultural heritage with a contemporary flair. Throughout the property, guests will discover a thoughtfully curated collection of artwork, including artifacts, paintings, installations and bespoke objet d’art, paying homage to Macau’s vibrant history and diverse influences.

Andaz Macau features a vibrant lifestyle concept rooted in local art and culture.

The all-day Andaz Kitchen, led by Executive Chef André Lai, invites diners on a culinary adventure, featuring authentic Macanese and Portuguese flavors. Meanwhile, at Andaz Bar, Mixologist Shobit Shetty crafts innovative cocktails inspired by his experiences at some of Asia’s top bars.

Raffles at Galaxy Macau

The renowned Singaporean brand stays true to its legendary essence, offering an unparalleled luxurious experience at Raffles at Galaxy Macau. This expansive property stands as the largest all-suite Raffles establishment globally, with approximately 450 tastefully furnished suites. Elevating the guest experience further, the hotel’s renowned butler service offers thoughtful yet discreet assistance.

Raffles at Galaxy Macau raises the bar for luxury hospitality.

Guests are greeted by a series of artwork at the hotel lobby, themed around the four seasons. These art pieces beautifully capture the splendor of nature and the changing seasons. On the culinary front, guests can indulge in European favorites throughout the day, prepared by Chef Yorick Soh, who brings his expertise from Michelin-starred restaurants. Additionally, sushi lovers can look forward to an exclusive new sushi concept, led by renowned three-Michelin-starred Masaaki Miyakawa. The iconic Long Bar is also scheduled to open soon, offering guests the opportunity to try the “Macau Sling” cocktail, created in collaboration with noted Asia’s 50 Best Bars legend, Antonio Lai.

With these offerings and more, Galaxy Macau solidifies its status as a world-class destination. It marks a new chapter for the MICE industry and bolsters Macau’s “tourism+” cross-sectoral development strategy.

galaxymacau.com

Enchantment Behind Closed Doors At St. Martin

Richard Mille has always understood the importance of delighting and inspiring its dedicated base of customers and fans. The watchmaker’s track record for innovation, design and engineering speaks for itself—any endeavor associated with the brand is one pursued to perfection.

When the opportunity arose to expand its retail presence in Singapore, Richard Mille seized the moment to usher in a new chapter—one that would better articulate its spirit and values while redefining known boundaries of the bespoke customer experience.

Beyond delivering expertise through horological masterpieces, the optimal customer environment would set the stage for the creation of unforgettable personal moments—a move meriting a critical revaluation and reimagination of the entire customer experience.

Turning Concept Into Reality

From the very beginning, it was decided that such an environment would feature a mosaic of materials and influences and serve as a vibrant living space that was as elegant as it was exclusive. An environment not unlike the Prohibition-era clubs where discretion and secrecy were the order of the day. As with these speakeasies, an unassuming façade would conceal a surprising venue deeper within. This is the unambiguous allure of St. Martin, Richard Mille’s new flagship venue situated on a generous 700-square-meter site within the Orchard Road district.

“This venue awakens emotions and elevates the art of hospitality so dear to Richard Mille, thanks in particular to an innovative vision,” says Amanda Mille, Brand and Partnerships Director at Richard Mille. “Bespoke design and innovation are harnessed to serve conviviality. Everyone should be able to feel entirely at ease and relaxed in the spaces. As always, a sense of family, encounters and watchmaking know-how are at the heart of what we do.”

To create such an ambience, a bespoke approach would be the rule and not the exception. The vast majority of the furniture and decorative elements were created and designed specifically for St. Martin. Behind the scenes, the brand’s in-house architecture team labored for three consecutive years to turn concept into reality. Nearly 30 specialists contributed to the layout and decoration of the different spaces. From leather to wood, metal, stone and glass, over 250 material variations would be employed before the project was deemed complete.

Elevating the Art of Hospitality

While every artisan called upon was keen to surpass their own limits to meet the requirements of this unique space, the highlight of St. Martin is undoubtedly the work of French visual artist William Amor—an olive tree that takes root at the center of the Hub, the nerve center of St. Martin. Amor’s work embodies loyalty and resilience while evoking the Mediterranean basin so dear to Richard Mille.

“The architectural organization of St. Martin creates a feeling of astonishment at not having guessed such a space could exist behind this door,” adds Alexandre Mille, Brand Director. “Discovering it makes you wonder what the next surprise will be. Our intention was to play with visitors’ expectations.”

The Hub is also home to a majestic library characterized by curved lines that hosts a broad and eclectic range of works linked to the brand’s sources of inspiration—cars, art, sport, cinema, music, architecture, history, aeronautics and science. Enveloping this space is a gorgeous circular, floor-to-ceiling wine cellar constructed of curved glass and designed to store Grand Cru wines in optimal conditions.

A watchmaker’s workbench lies just beyond where a watchmaker is always on hand to answer customer queries or provide after-sales service. From the Hub, the journey within St. Martin extends to the Crafting Space, the Restaurant, the Bar, the Sport bar, the Riad and the Hidden Library. Each space is truly distinct, commanding its own identity and evoking stories and memories of travel, history and culture.

An indisputable tour de force of design, St. Martin promises to be both destination and journey—a source of diverse experiences and emotions, and the sharing of know-how and passion in an atmosphere of conviviality and exquisite hospitality.

Richard Mille St. Martin is located at 1 St. Martin’s Drive, Singapore 257988.


www.richardmille.com

Elegance With A Dash Of Intensity

Henry Jacques has been handcrafting the world’s finest perfumes for close to five decades. In an industry well-known for its adherence to tradition, the bespoke French perfumer has always stood apart by virtue of its penchant for driving innovation in the olfactory arts.

The 2021 launch of Clic-Clac, a contemporary object that houses a solid perfume capsule, perfectly captures the DNA of Henry Jacques and symbolizes the maison’s synchronicity of innovation and heritage.

Successful innovative endeavors, however, do not always come from within. Core to Henry Jacques’ efforts to drive creative growth have been its collaborations with style icons and cultural trendsetters. Only last year, the haute parfumerie maison unveiled In All Intimacy—a collection of three extraordinary perfumes made for tennis legend Rafael Nadal and his wife María Perelló.

The couple worked closely with Henry Jacques to channel their hearts, tastes and connection to the Mediterranean into the three unique fragrances that comprise In All Intimacy. In developing the collection, Nadal and Perelló drew inspiration from the scents that defined their home in Mallorca—orange blossom, citrus, bergamot, jasmine, lavender and thyme.

A Prized Collectible

Taking this successful collaboration to the next phase, Henry Jacques is pleased to announce the launch of a limited edition Clic-Clac designed exclusively for Rafael Nadal himself—the Clic-Clac Rafael Nadal Edition.

This version retains the minimalist, avant-garde lines of the Clic-Clac, along with the use of grade 5 titanium for the outer case. What sets the Rafael Nadal Edition apart is the sweeping accent line in the distinct shade evocative of a tennis ball. A subtle dash of color that could very well turn a cult favorite into a prized collectible.

With a form factor reminiscent of the archetypal lighter, Clic-Clac is intuitively recognizable as an heirloom-grade companion. One that marks its owner as an individual of means and subtlety. A swift flick of the wrist opens the case to reveal the capsule-encased balm. Owners can now select a capsule-encased fragrance from any of 50 available across the core Classiques collection. These include the couple’s range of personalized scents such as the Rafael Nadal No. 1, Rafael Nadal No. 2 and Maria Perello.

Unlike traditional perfumes, Clic-Clac was designed from the beginning to be an intimate and portable daily companion—one that could be tucked comfortably into a pocket or slipped into a handbag. More than an accessory, Clic-Clac was also conceived to serve as your personal talisman—an inseparable objet d’art that, over the course of time, would evoke joy and rekindle memories at every touch.

The launch of the Clic-Clac Rafael Nadal Edition also commemorates the completion of In All Intimacy since the perfumes are now available across the three forms true to the Henry Jacques philosophy—solid, spray (Les Brumes), and essences (Les Classiques).

For more information about the Clic-Clac Rafael Nadal Edition and the time-honored principles and craftsmanship that go into Henry Jacques perfumes, visit
parfumshenryjacques.com.

MUWA NISEKO: Unwind And Ski In Wellness Wonderland

Infinity onsen

In December 2023, MUWA, the luxury home and hospitality brand, unveiled MUWA NISEKO, situated on the powdery slopes of Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan. As one of the world’s top ski destinations, Niseko receives an annual snowfall ranging from 39 to 52 feet, providing about 120 days of ski trail operation. The fine quality of the powder is so iconic that it’s been dubbed Japow, short for Japan Powder.

Niseko, acknowledged globally as a winter haven for skiing enthusiasts attracted to its renowned powder snow, eagerly anticipates the imminent arrival of premier luxury resorts. The introduction of MUWA NISEKO is viewed as a significant milestone in the evolution of these upscale destinations, marking the onset of a new era in luxury experiences.

MUWA NISEKO, positioned as a premium wellness retreat, offers distinctive experiences rooted in its stunning natural surroundings and distinguished by its prominent location. Nestled in the Grand Hirafu area, MUWA NISEKO is a unique architectural marvel reminiscent of a mountain village right in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan. Thanks to its extraordinary location, guests not only enjoy picturesque landscapes but can also directly step into the famed “Niseko Powder” from the ski-in, ski-out room terraces.

After a day on the ski slopes, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the heart of MUWA NISEKO’s wellness offerings, which include an infinity onsen boasting picturesque views. The presence of Mount Yotei, often regarded as Niseko’s Mount Fuji, establishes a serene backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. Furthermore, the integration of a tea ceremony during the onsen experience introduces an exclusive dimension to well-being rarely found elsewhere. Customized spa services complete the all-encompassing therapeutic experience in an Eastern-inspired setting, addressing both physical and mental well-being.

MUWA NISEKO offers guests the chance to indulge in prestigious Michelin dining experiences from Japan, showcasing menus enriched with seasonal ingredients. The Italian all-day dining at HITO by Tacubo, curated by the owner-chef of Tokyo’s acclaimed Michelin one-star restaurant Tacubo since 2017, presents an exclusive opportunity. Additionally, patrons can partake in the 112-year legacy of SUKIYAKI HIYAMA, a Michelin one-star restaurant, acknowledged for a decade. Both venues provide meticulously crafted menus featuring locally sourced Hokkaido ingredients, ensuring a culinary experience of the highest caliber.

Guest suite with a view

MUWA NISEKO is poised to offer tailor-made tours through its dedicated concierge service. Carefully crafted to capture the essence of Niseko’s changing seasons, these excursions present opportunities for activities, culinary delights, and family-oriented adventures surrounded by nature. Beyond the winter allure, there are compelling reasons to explore MUWA NISEKO even during the summer months.

MUWA NISEKO features seven floors and a total of 113 rooms, providing exclusive advantages to guests like seasonal booking privileges and 24/7 concierge service. The accommodations come in diverse options, including direct slope access with ski-in, ski-out rooms, selections featuring secluded outdoor hot springs for enjoying Niseko’s scenic beauty, and luxurious penthouses in Grand Hirafu showcasing unmatched vistas and upscale amenities.

Comprehensive details regarding MUWA NISEKO, as well as inquiries pertaining to reservations and ownership, may be addressed through the official website.
Website: muwaniseko.com
Phone: +81-136-23-0955

 

Going Beyond Silk

From its humble beginnings in Bangkok during the 1950s, Jim Thompson has grown into an iconic lifestyle brand renowned for its exceptional silk fabrics, home furnishings, as well as food and beverage offerings.

Jim Thompson Group CEO Frank Cancelloni, who took over the helm in 2021, believes the brand has the potential to achieve greater heights. He says, “With all its unique attributes and roots in arts, fashion and hospitality, along with its distinctive heritage, Jim Thompson is on track to become, in the mid-term, the first truly global Asian lifestyle brand, akin to the status of Ralph Lauren in the U.S. or Giorgio Armani in Europe.” 

Jim Thompson has grown into an iconic lifestyle brand renowned for its exceptional silk fabrics, home furnishings, as well as food and beverage offerings.

Unique Attributes

Many successful global fashion and lifestyle brands have one thing in common: they have a rich history. In Jim Thompson’s case, the brand’s heritage can be traced back to 1951, when James H.W. Thompson, a former operative for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (now known as the CIA), founded the Thai Silk Company. His vision was to support the traditional livelihoods, culture and dignity of local weavers and silk farmers.

The brand’s success was attributed to Thompson’s focus on creating designs that seamlessly blended both Asian and Western elements while maintaining an unwavering commitment to quality. The brand gained prominence when its silk fabrics were featured in the Broadway production of The King and I, and it earned early patronage from Queen Sirikit.

Despite Thompson’s mysterious disappearance in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia, in 1967, the company and the Jim Thompson brand of silk products continued to grow from strength
to strength.

Exponential Growth

Today, Jim Thompson has 21 stores under its fashion business unit spread across Thailand, with celebrities, politicians and diplomats counting as regular clients. The business is focused on the tourist market as well as the growing middle- and upper-class segments of the local population.

Its home furnishings business unit, on the other hand, has a presence in more than 60 countries worldwide, with showrooms in Atlanta, New York and Paris. The food and beverage arm of the company comprises Jim Thompson, a Thai Restaurant, Silk Café and Jim’s Terrace—all under one roof in the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok. The soon-to-open The OSS Bar will pay homage to Thompson’s affiliation with the Office of Strategic Services, embodying his legacy.

Beyond Silk

The company recently embarked on a “Beyond Silk” strategy to position itself as a dynamic and innovative lifestyle brand, offering a diverse product portfolio that goes beyond traditional silk products to include materials such as linen and cotton. It also employs innovative technologies to develop high-performance and “Easy Care” silk to cater to different customer needs and preferences.

Until recently, Jim Thompson was perceived as a tourist-oriented brand while locals see it as a gifting option. “With our renewed focus on contemporary design, a thoughtfully curated assortment of products and strategic collaborations, we are experiencing a significant shift in perception,” says Cancelloni. “Our well-targeted digital campaigns have played a crucial role in this transformation. As a result, we are now successfully attracting a growing number of local, younger customers who are purchasing our products for themselves, while still retaining a strong presence in the tourist market.”

This positive momentum is a testament to the brand’s adaptability and resonance with diverse audiences.

 

www.jimthompson.com

The Mark Of Mystique And Allure

Henry Jacques’ Clic-Clac

Henry Jacques is a free-spirited creator that has constantly risen to the challenge of pushing haute parfumerie to the limits. This explains why the maison’s perfumes never fail to surprise, delight and innovate, year after year.

Nowhere is this legacy of a bespoke creator of olfactory dreams more evident than in Clic-Clac—the quintessential solid perfume—as interpreted and perfected by Henry Jacques.

Known since ancient times, solid perfume, similar in composition to balm, has been neglected over the centuries. This meant the joys and sense of well-being associated with its application were subsequently lost. Until now.

The desire to revive and celebrate the enchanting customs of the past was what inspired Henry Jacques CEO Anne-Lise Cremona and Artistic Director Christophe Tollemer to breathe new life into this lost art—a ritual that is simultaneously personal and intimate, yet social and bestowing.

“Our obsession was to create a fascinating object, resolutely masculine in its shape, material and mechanism, but hiding an intimate, more emotional side: the perfume,” Cremona says.

An Exceptional Case for an Amazing Perfume
Unlike more traditional perfume offerings, Henry Jacques had to overcome two distinct challenges in order to turn its concept for a solid perfume into reality. The first challenge was to ensure the essence and olfactory integrity of the maison’s 50 Classiques, a collection of 50 historic fragrances from its archive of over 3,000 scents, were preserved without compromise in solid form. The second challenge was to create a case worthy of the purpose and occasion.

Years of design, development and testing were needed before the optimal case was determined and agreed upon. With that, the Clic-Clac was born. In reviving the ancient ritual of solid perfumery, Henry Jacques succeeded not only in reintroducing a sense of allure and mystique so frequently missing in modern life, but also in creating an extraordinary artifact of precision and elegance.

A Treasure for All Seasons and Generations
Like an elegant lighter or an exquisite piece of jewelry, Clic-Clac is an heirloom-grade companion that marks its owner as an individual of taste, means and subtlety. Housed within each Clic-Clac are interchangeable fragrance capsules from the Classiques range. Much like the maison’s line of 50 Classiques, all of these capsules have been developed from an alcohol-free base that is virtually devoid of non-natural ingredients.

The irreverently playful name of Clic-Clac belies an extraordinary object that has been forged with engineering virtuosity and artistic ingenuity. The opening mechanism is derived from Swiss watchmaking, tested to the extremes to guarantee many years of smooth, flawless operation. The carefully considered proportions and weight cannot help but evoke presence, whether viewed from a distance or up close in the palm of the hand. The case is currently available in a variety of precious and avant-garde materials such as carbon or titanium. Bejeweled alternatives are expected to be available very soon.

“The creation of this object quickly transported us and overwhelmed us, surpassing all our expectations,” says Cremona. “Addictive for us, and fascinating for others, Clic-Clac responds to the needs of an era and a generation—a powerful response to something clearly lacking today.”

The small, infinitely portable form factor means that, unlike other perfumes, Clic-Clac was designed from the beginning to be an intimate and personal accessory—a talisman always held dear and kept close. Much more than an accessory, Clic-Clac is a symbol of daydreams, nonchalance and quiet individuality. A discreet objet d’art that takes on the aura of its owner over the years, as well as the patina of time, intimate encounters and memories.


For more information about Clic-Clac and the time-honored principles and craftsmanship that go into each Henry Jacques creation, visit

parfumshenryjacques.com.

On The Razor’s Edge Of Time

Richard Mille and Ferrari—two brands synonymous with pushing technical limits while simultaneously honoring the traditions of their respective fields. While the marque with the prancing horse has been a dominating force on racetracks since the early 1950s, Richard Mille has been developing watches with unheard technology and trend-redefining aesthetics from Les Breleux in the Swiss Jura—albeit since the turn of this millennium.

While the industries are distinct, both brands are united by a single-minded obsession with technical innovation, breaking records, and above all, winning hearts and minds.

The Beating Hearts of Mechanical Miracles
As a watchmaker, Richard Mille has never been one to shy away from contrarian engineering or rest on its laurels. In the 18.83-gram RM 27-01, a watch developed in collaboration with Rafael Nadal, the company showcased in 2013 the lightest tourbillon in the world. This was followed two years later by the extraordinary RM 67-01 and its 3.6-mm thick inhouse caliber. Now, eight years on, Richard Mille has delivered on the impossible—an ultra-flat watch that is 1.75mm thick—the RM UP-01 Ferrari.



In developing this astoundingly slender watch, Richard Mille collaborated with fellow Swiss watchmaking powerhouse, Audemars Piguet. To bring this concept to life, however, engineers on both teams realized very quickly they had to unlearn everything they thought they knew about watchmaking. Just as Ferrari engineers continuously seek to gain thousandths of a second while racing, the engineers working on the RM UP-01 Ferrari labored to shave off hundredths of a millimeter.

“The joint endeavor with Audemars Piguet made it possible for us to reach the desired thickness,” says Yves Mathys, Head of Production at Richard Mille. “But reaching this degree of flatness requires that you break with tradition.”



To put things in perspective, 1.75mm is the thickness of the entire watch. The movement itself is an astonishing 1.18mm thick, boast a 45-hour power reserve, and weighs all of 2.82 grams.

“It is worth pointing out that the movement’s depth of 1.18mm is thinner than a compact disc,” adds Salvador Arbona, Technical Director for Movements at Richard Mille. “This precluded a traditional movement with superimposed gears and hands.”

“Such a project requires that all the knowledge accumulated over years of practice and every rule of watchmaking is therefore suspended,” says Julien Boillat, Technical Director for Cases at Richard Mille. “Eliminating those last few millimeters was a long and arduous process.”

Tested to the Limits
The RM UP-01 Ferrari is, not surprisingly, the culmination of over 6,000 hours of development and testing. Given the slender proportions, engineers were adamant about ensuring the watch was fit for the purpose of daily wear and not merely a showpiece of technical mastery.



Countless hours were therefore spent on shock-resistance testing, where prototypes were subject to the notorious pendulum test (or Charpy impact test)—which measures resistance to acceleration forces in excess of 5,000 g’s.

Among the multiple innovations engineered into the RM UP-01 Ferrari are two new patents—an extra-flat barrel less than 1.18mm thick with an extremely fine-gauge spring and an ultra-flat escapement. Engineers also had to rethink the traditional winding mechanism—a feature that would have looked completely out of place on a watch so thin. In its place, two crowns have been cleverly integrated in the case as movement wheels and ringed with black ceramic inserts to protect the bezel from wear. 

Titanium was a natural choice of material for the baseplate and the bridges, thanks to its combination of strength, lightness and corrosion-resistance. Structural rigidity is critical when developing a watch case where the wall thickness can drop to 0.18mm. Even the sapphire crystals have been reduced to a thickness of 0.20mm.

“The extremely low tolerance for error of each part placed exceptionally high demands during production,” says Mathys, “often requiring meticulous checks at almost every stage of machining.” Naturally, the ultra-slim package also needed to be water-resistant to 10 meters.

Only 150 units of this distinct yet elegant technological tour de force have been made.


www.richardmille.com

 

The Genius And Mechanics Behind A Smile

RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

A yellow circle, two oval eyes, a wide upturned mouth.

Drawn by Franklin Loufrani just over 50 years ago, the Smiley has become an established symbol in the collective consciousness. Now more than ever, the popular emoticon serves as the embodiment of positivity and joy, and continues to play a universal role at the heart of pop culture.

This symbolic and exuberant attitude that is so effectively captured by the Smiley, was reason enough for the teams at Richard Mille to want to create an emotion-driven watch that represented all these values. In particular, the multivalent quality of a smile that is so fundamental to social interactions and so expressive of our innate desire to connect with others.

The result of this three-year quest is the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley—a timepiece that is both a visually stunning work of art and an unapologetic feat of precision engineering.

Like the emoticon on which it was inspired, the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley resonates joy and invokes smiles; thanks in no small part to the meticulously curated application of icons of the Smiley world—a blooming flower, a hot sun, a delicious pineapple, a burgeoning cactus, a pink flamingo and a vivid rainbow.

This array of micro sculptures has been seamlessly interwoven into the movement to form a surreal scene brimming with merriment while simultaneously demonstrating sheer mastery of the infinitely small. A scene where Richard Mille’s Creative and Development Director, Cécile Guenat, expresses how “the decorative elements are spontaneously placed in the watch, following an explosion around the tourbillon carriage.”

This timepiece is, quite simply, a joy and a wonder to behold.

Engineering the Dream
Even as we revel at the completed project, a succession of critical challenges had to be tackled before the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley could see the light of day.

The challenges revolved around the incorporation of the exquisite micro sculptures, created by specialist engraver Olivier Kuhn, into the calibre assembly. Firstly, the dimensions and weight of the gold micro sculptures, each weighing less than a gram, had to be judiciously calibrated for consistency while ensuring they were robust enough to withstand every type of shock.

Another challenge was in determining how to arrange the objects in three-dimensional space around the central motif—the Smiley—to maximize aesthetic effect while facilitating their insertion by the watchmaker.

Holistically, there was also the visual challenge of ensuring enough free space to display the multiple protagonists of this scene with the greatest possible impact.

In order to meet all these challenges it was decided that a new in-house calibre was needed. This was how the CRMT7 calibre came into being.

The CRMT7 is an all new skeletonized automatic tourbillon movement with hours, minutes and a function indicator that oscillates at four Hz (28,000 vibrations/h) and features a power reserve of 50 hours. This movement has been designed, machined and assembled entirely in-house by Richard Mille.

The new calibre facilitated a simple yet elegant answer to the challenge of integrating and inserting the iconic micro sculptures. The solution was to equip the watch with two baseplates: one technical, to support the movement, and the other to secure the ornamental objects on the left-hand side of the dial. This auxiliary baseplate would subsequently be mounted onto the movement.

This novel arrangement meant that the micro sculptures could be presented at an inclined plane, for added volumetric and three-dimensional effect. However, the arrangement also required different attachment methods. The pink flamingo, for instance, is fastened using a stud while the sun, the flower, the cocktail glass and the gradient gold rainbow, are affixed with screws. Meanwhile, the pineapple and the cactus are pierced by two pins in polished Phynox while the Smiley itself is assembled on a decorative bridge, lending the impression that it floats above the movement.

RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Focused and Persistent Attention to Detail
With the major technical issues finally resolved, the teams at Richard Mille then got down to the details, sparing no effort in ensuring every minute element was given the attention and finish it deserved.

The shining face of the Smiley has been microblasted and hand-painted in 3N yellow gold while the cocktail glass consists of a four-part assembly in 3N and 5N gold. The parasol, the olive (1.7mm in height), the 0.4mm diameter grooved straw—all polished—and the glass, whose base has also been microblasted for that “chilled” effect, weigh an astonishing 0.4 grams in total. The gold flower above is made of 5N gold and features a mirror-polished heart and a brushed, rhodium plated petals.

The additional motion work bridge, to which the Smiley is affixed, takes the form and colours of a rainbow. This bridge, made of microblasted ARCAP® with polished angles and drawn-out edges, gleams with faint reflections thanks to hand-applied varnishes.

The small seconds hand alternates between rain and fine weather by the minute. It glides its way over the ARCAP® cloud affixed to the tourbillon then hides beneath a small cloud microblasted and satin finished in white gold, before re-emerging at the foot of a rainbow of four shades of gold. Made of white gold and 2N, 4N and 6N gold, the rainbow itself has been subjected to alternate microblasting and drawn-out finishing, a culmination of 25 hours of craftmanship.

A function indicator at 3 o’clock allows one to see the winding (W) and hand-setting (H) positions as the crown is pulled out. The RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley also sports a free-sprung balance with variable inertia for greater reliability when subject to shocks and during movement assembly or disassembly.

The entire mechanical ensemble is housed in a visually stunning case made of ATZ white ceramic, a material known for its high scratch-resistance and a perennial whiteness that contrasts effectively with the red gold of the case band.

Beyond such attention to detail, the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley is, at its heart, as enthralling as it is rare. Only 50 pieces are available worldwide. For more information about this exceptional timepiece, visit www.richardmille.com.

The Pursuit Of Chronometric Perfection

As a watchmaker, François-Paul Journe’s track record for innovation and mechanical ingenuity is unparalleled. The three-time winner of the industry’s highest honor, the Aiguille d’Or, really needs no introduction. From the Astronomic Souveraine to the Chronomètre à Résonance, F.P.Journe’s creations are testimony to the deep, lasting impact the independent watchmaker has etched on contemporary Haute Horlogerie.

When it comes to timekeeping accuracy, one timepiece in particular has come to epitomize the very essence of the precision wristwatch—the Chronomètre Optimum.

The origins of this watch hark back to the 1980s when a youthful and idealistic Journe began obsessing over the “ideal” wristwatch. Even then, he knew exactly what it would be. Minimalist. Simple. A time-only watch with just a power reserve indicator. The Chronomètre Optimum’s synthesis of simplicity and precision would later serve as a fundamental pillar of F.P.Journe’s chronometric research. Many years would nevertheless have to pass before the young watchmaker would be in a position to turn concept into reality.

“The basic premise was to make a watch with less internal friction, a constant force on the escapement to ensure isochronism, and an escapement without lubrication to ensure stability,” says Journe.

The premise may have been basic but delivering on chronometric perfection demanded the watchmaker leverage and build on the knowledge base and technical expertise of past masters such as Breguet, Berthoud and Janvier while simultaneously driving new technological solutions of his own.

What he finally achieved was nothing short of horological brilliance. For starters, Journe knew his new movement would have twin mainspring barrels mounted in parallel. This layout ensured power delivery would be stable. Next, he created a constant-force mechanism called the Remontoir d’Égalité. This mechanism comprised an intermediate spring that equalized the forces acting on the escapement, further enhancing power transmission stability.

The idea that followed was nothing short of revolutionary. Instead of the traditional lubricated escapement wheel, Journe developed a system that used two escapement wheels. This design would come to be known as the High-Performance Bi-axial Escapement or EBHP. Put simply, a two-wheel system meant frictional forces could now be distributed rather than concentrated, thereby enabling the escapement to operate without lubricants.

In 2001, Journe set the wheels in motion for his new wristwatch with initial sketches. Six years and countless refinements later, the blueprints were finalized. In 2012, Calibre 1510 pulsed its first mechanical heartbeat as a complete caliber.

Traditional, Time-Tested Aesthetics

The blued steel hands indicating hours, minutes and power reserve are definitive of an F.P.Journe and in the Chronomètre Optimum may be set on a dial of white or red gold. The movement itself is constructed of 18K rose gold and features a 70-hour power reserve with a constant-force remontoir on display on the dial face. At the back, the movement flaunts a deadbeat seconds as defined by a seconds circle screwed onto the movement’s bridges. The two-part case is adorned with F.P.Journe’s iconic knurled crown, a design inspired by a silk rope.

The Chronomètre Optimum comes in 40- or 42-mm sizes, equivalent to 48.50- and 52.70-mm lug-to-lug configuration. Case thickness is 9.50-mm and available in either platinum or 18K red gold. Dials are either white or red gold and the timepiece is secured via leather strap.

The Hour Glass is the exclusive retailer of F.P.Journe in Singapore, Australia and Thailand.

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Timely Reveal

With a stunning new geometry and an all-new Manufacture movement, Hublot’s Square Bang Unico made a timely entry at Watches & Wonders 2022 in Geneva, joining Hublot’s family of tonneau-shaped watches, round watches and the unconventionally shaped Master
Pieces series.

Inspired by the iconic Big Bang and Chairman Jean-Claude Biver’s “Art of Fusion” philosophy, the Square Bang Unico symbolizes Hublot’s ethos of being “the first, unique, and different” and exemplifies the synthesis of functionality, architecture, design and unique materials.

Its shape, at first a challenge for the R&D department, displays Hublot’s technical expertise while maintaining some traditions from 1980. As CEO Ricardo Guadalupe said, “The square watch is a very specific object most watchmakers dare not tackle. This is a divisive, disruptive and unconventional shape no one has known how to rework for decades. Hublot decided to get to grips with the shape to explore its power and create a unique timepiece.”

It offers a lesson in geometry, beginning with the HUB1280 Unico Manufacture movement, a 354-component automatic chronograph set at 4Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour). It has a power reserve of 72 hours.

With mechanical movements round and difficult to integrate into square cases, Hublot skeletonized the dial to work around it and, rather than concealing it, they displayed the remarkable power of the HUB1280, which follows the Meca-10 and Tourbillon movements. An oblong bicompax display at 6 o’clock reveals the chronograph’s inner mechanics, along with a column wheel.

A further challenge was the modular construction of the case. Hublot’s DNA is reflected in the 42mm sapphire crystal case—with a central housing and upper-lower plate for a variety of combinations—that reveals the dial and the movement. In addition to being functional, the six distinct screws on the bezel contribute to the overall aesthetics of the Square Bang Unico; “ears” (bezel lugs) on both sides of the watch give balance to the design while protecting the case.

The square shape presented another issue: the difficulty in making it water-resistant. Hublot pulled off this challenge and made the watch water-resistant to 100 meters.

The Square Bang Unico is even ergonomically perfect, providing wrist comfort. The textured “chocolate-square” strap enhances its uniqueness, and the One Click system lets you switch between rubber, alligator and soft-touch leather straps quickly.

As with all Hublot timepieces, the finishing is impeccable. The screws are sandblasted and polished. Chronograph push-pieces have rubber “chocolate squares”, and the rhodium-plated or 5N gold-plated hands, depending on the model, are polished.

At its launch, Hublot presented five 42mm Square Bang Unico models. The All Black, limited to 250 pieces, combines shades of black on all surfaces, alternating between polished and satin finishes. Ceramic and titanium meet here, from the polished black case and bezel to the structured rubber strap and black-plated titanium deployant clasp.

The other four are: a solid titanium piece, a titanium with ceramic bezel model, a King Gold with ceramic bezel model, and a full King Gold timepiece. Each comes with a black rubber strap and a folding clasp that matches the material of the case.

The Hour Glass is the exclusive partner of Hublot in Southeast Asia.

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